Posted in sewing

Traveling Sewcation

ETA other machines, links, etc.

My mom is a regular reader of my blog. So, imagine explaining to her face-to-face where the word ‘fug’ comes from. awkward. Once this new vocab was added, she agreed that the skants (love it e.) are in fact fug. Sigh. I’m still intrigued and I may still work them up in muslin, but message received loud and clear. We think the pants are fug, unflattering and best suited for those with polio. I have to say after spending a day helping around the house, the comments were the comedy highlight of my day.


Before I left for the vacay, I got an email from Angie R. asking me what I take with me so I can sew when I travel. It’s a great question, because heaven knows I love a sewcation.


First, my machine. I have this awesome vintage Kenmore 1040. It does everything I want and need for sewing: zig-zag, buttonholes, straight and stretch stitch. It’s also only about 11 pounds. It’s comprable to the infamous Featherweight, but with more features. If you’ve got an extra Kennie 1030/40/50 around, PLEASE let me know. My mom would like to get her hands on one and eBay is getting out of control.


Sturdy enough to sew curtains for my mom. And light enough to lift into my overhead compartment. Other good travel or 3/4 size machines might be a vintage Singer Featherweight, Elna Grasshopper, a Singer 301, Singer Genie, Lotus Elna, and a Janome Jem. Not that I’ve sewed on any of these machines, but they are alternatively lightweight, small and sturdy (from reviews I’ve read). I also have a penchant for vintage machines, heh.

(My desire for a white Singer Featherweight cannot be expressed. I keep hoping I’ll stumble upon a yardsale where they have it tagged for $10. Okay, if not $10, maybe $100. $300+ is too rich for my blood. I digress.)

I carry said machine around in the Tutto Machine on Wheels case. I have a medium from when Joann’s honored the 40% off coupons online. Sadly, they no longer do. I reviewed the case on PatternReview.com a couple of months ago.

It can also be used as a seat when your flight from Miami is delayed by five hours and every seat in your section of the terminal is full. Honestly, I love this case so much I’m saving up for thier suitcases. I have never had to take my machine out of the case and I’ve flown with it about half a dozen times. I just stick it on the inspection belt and off it goes.

Notions. This in part depends on your planned projects. I consider my essentials to be: Tape measure, pressing ham, French curve / ruler, chalk, pins, seam ripper (o.k. three), shears, tailor board. I also packed handsewing needles, tracing paper, knips, and beeswax. All the small bits go in a plastic bin. And everything can fit into my carrying case. But, I put it in checked luggage. The airlines seem to have a thing against dressmaker shears in the cabin.


I don’t take my rotary cutter because I don’t have a small cutting mat. Depending on where you go, many things can be purchased locally too. For instance, thread in Panama City is 45 cents to a one dollar a spool. Zippers are under a dollar too. Finding knit interfacing last week was a bit of a challange, but I found it from the one English speaking store I know of — Livingstons (reviewed on PR this week).


I’ve got three knit projects underway here and love that I’m sewing outside on the patio. Here is my view.


But, did I mention it’s also the rainy season?